Basho thinks he knows all his mother’s sins, since his mom is one sinister, mysterious figure. All his life she has been an overbearing figure he can't emulate, and each and every day, he feels he's failed her. Except now he's landed a top job in Tokyo, working for the sexy, compelling Kanji Chang, and Basho believes his fortunes have changed. But Kanji also has mysteries and often gives off a sinister air. And when the two men tumble into bed, Basho is surprised when Kanji actually bites him.
Though the bite leaves no telltale physical signs, Basho's whole body goes through changes. He can see and hear better. Sleep is a distant memory, and he has super-fast speed. He also views the world in a different way. But everything hurts, and noises are too loud, while his eyes begin acting weird.
And then things get even odder when Basho's mother descends for a visit and spills the family secret. Is she nuts, or is the family's closely guarded recipe for Stranger Rice not the only thing they hold dear? As Basho dreams of whiskers, he realizes his hot new lover sometimes has four legs, a tail, and a ferocious roar…
“Your home is not what I expected.”
Basho’s hand shook from sheer nerves. “What were you expecting?” He placed the pan back on the stove so he didn’t slosh boiling hot liquid all over himself. He tipped the marinating lamb into the pan.
“Well, I thought you’d live a far more…Spartan lifestyle. I didn’t think your space would be quite so…cluttered.”
Cluttered? Up until this morning it wasn’t. Basho’s heart sank.
“So, why did you skip dinner last night?”
Basho glanced down at his pan. “I didn’t skip it. I wasn’t invited.”
“That’s ridiculous.” I sent out emails to everybody last Monday.”
“Well, I didn’t get one.” Basho quickly spooned sauce over the lamb chop. It was coming along nicely. Oh, God. Why was he still cooking? He was about to get the um, chop.
Kanji began rifling through his cell phone. He flicked a glance at Basho. “What are you making?”
“I love stranger rice,” Kanji said, just like he had in the dream. A chill ran down Basho’s neck. Kanji leaned over the breakfast bar, staring down at the stove. “How do you make it?”
Basho smiled, also like he had in the dream, except Kanji didn’t have a wineglass in his hand.
What’s he doing in my kitchen? Basho fretted just like he had in the dream. If he mentions human meat I’m jumping out the window.
“Do you have any wine?” Kanji suddenly asked.
“No.” Basho shook his head. “Sorry.” He flicked a glance at the oven clock. Twelve noon. He felt like a character in the movie Shane. He was about to enter a battle of wills. Without the guns…